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Genghis Bob

USA | Member Since 2014

  • 5 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 43 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • A Short Stay in Hell

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Steven L. Peck
    • Narrated By Sergei Burbank
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An ordinary family man, geologist, and Mormon, Soren Johansson has always believed he'll be reunited with his loved ones after death in an eternal hereafter. Then, he dies. Soren wakes to find himself cast by a God he has never heard of into a Hell whose dimensions he can barely grasp: a vast library he can only escape from by finding the book that contains the story of his life. In this haunting existential novella, author, philosopher, and ecologist Steven L. Peck explores a subversive vision of eternity.

    Janice says: "I'll be thinking about this one for a while."
    "This shouldn't have worked - but it did"
    What aspect of Sergei Burbank’s performance would you have changed?

    Too little affect in his narrative, too little distinction among characters in his dialogue. His diction was quite muddy.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes; yes indeed.

    Any additional comments?

    There's very little in the way of character development, but it's so evocative of a feeling of timelessness and the infinite that I'm fascinated. I can't wait to see where the story is going. This is what reading fantastical literature is supposed to do for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Clocks

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Following a scalding row with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

    Melinda says: "Not Short Listed, This Time"
    "Well-written episodes, but too disjointed"
    Would you try another book from David Mitchell and/or the narrators?

    I would try another book from the narrators - they were wonderful.

    I will likely try another from David Mitchell, but after a prolonged break; and I will avoid multi-character, multiple-thread tomes.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the section with Holly Sykes as a teenager. The writing "sounded" true, and the narration was dead-on.

    Any additional comments?

    Each individual section was well-written, but the book was ultimately frustrating; Mr. Mitchell never really drew all the disparate sections together satisfactorily enough to justify the time spent building each character.


    Of particular note - Ed Brubek and Crispin Hershey. I kept waiting for their story lines to circle back around and materially affect the narrative. I was forced to the conclusion that the story could have concluded exactly as it had, even without their presence in the book (with the obvious exception of Ed and Holly's daughter). Crispin especially was problematic; he lived, he died, but he had no effect on Holly's story.

    I understand that this book is an attempt at mixing "literary" with genre writing, and Mr. Mitchell's mastery of his craft as a writer is obvious. Which is why this one is so frustrating - so much skill, leading in the end to a very tepid conclusion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Olympos

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau

    Beneath the gaze of the gods, the mighty armies of Greece and Troy met in fierce and glorious combat, scrupulously following the text set forth in Homer's timeless narrative. But that was before 21st-century scholar Thomas Hockenberry stirred the bloody brew, causing an enraged Achilles to join forces with his archenemy, Hector, and turn his murderous wrath on Zeus and the entire pantheon of divine manipulators; before the swift and terrible mechanical creatures that catered for centuries to the pitiful idle remnants of Earth's human race began massing in the millions, to exterminate rather than serve.

    Genghis Bob says: "Everything but the kitchen sink"
    "Everything but the kitchen sink"
    Would you try another book from Dan Simmons and/or Kevin Pariseau?

    It'll be a long time before I'm ready for another Dan Simmons novel. And a long, long time before I'll listen to a Kevin Pariseau performance of a work of fiction.

    Would you recommend Olympos to your friends? Why or why not?

    Would not recommend. The book lacks focus, and is not a good example of Mr. Simmons' better writing.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Mr. Pariseau's inflections in dialogue were atrocious - I often wondered if he even read the descriptions of the way things were said. There was no nuance in his delivery - whispers, speculation, regrets, all were delivered in the same monotone. Except for once character . . .

    I almost could not continue once the character of Moira appeared. She's a (SPOILER ALERT) young woman, but he makes her sound like my 85 year-old great aunt. A terrible, terrible misread of the character that threw me out of the story everytime he voiced a line.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Mild curiosity, the further I got into it. The story went everywhere (almost literally), without managing to imbue the characters with much that made me care what happened to them. But I was curious to see what else Mr. Simmons would cram into the book, and to see how - if - he pulled it all together.

    Any additional comments?

    This book contained some of the most cringe-inducing descriptions of sexual arousal and intercourse I've ever seen in a work of fiction (fortunately, there weren't many, but they were memorable for their awfulness). Mr. Pariseau's delivery of the scenes only made them worse - turgid prose delivered in a stentorian monotone is a combination to be avoided at all costs.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Chronoliths

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future. In early 21st-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter.

    M. Stephenson says: "A haunting, beautiful work..."
    "Ultimately unsatisfying story"
    What was most disappointing about Robert Charles Wilson’s story?

    Too much of the story remained unresolved at the end. Scott ended up a passenger, a witness to the events of his time, but all through the story, there was the promise that his role in somehow bringing about events, or his potential role in resolving the conflict at the core of the story, would be revealed. In the end, there was no reveal, and no satisfactory reason revealed for why we should care about him.

    In like manner, the story of the Chronoliths was left unresolved. There was very strong hint that Scott's mentor Su had some role in "defeating" the final Chronolith (although we're never certain that it was the final one - the whole thing sort of petered out), but it's left ambiguous. I don't mind a little ambiguity, but not when it involves the organizing theme and central actor in the story. It seems as if Mr. Wilson just got tired of the whole thing and decided to wrap things up by making everyone older.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Oliver Wyman’s performances?

    Probably not. His inflections often did not match the descriptors in the text for the way characters spoke; I felt that he completely missed on Hitch Paley's style of talking during the latter part of the book. It also seemed that all of Mr. Wyman's female characters, with the exception of Su, spoke with the same voice.

    Any additional comments?

    I stayed with the book because the central conceit - giant monuments from the future, portending global conflict and conquest - promised some very interesting science fictional treatment of time, causation, necessity. But none of the promise was delivered on; we were left with no particular insight into either the science, the political / military possibilities, the paradoxical possibilities, or the characters themselves.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Lincoln rescued from history"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Team of Rivals?

    The Gettysburg address. Hearing Ms. Toren read it in its entirety moved me to tears.

    What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

    She has a very clear voice and enunciates very well. It was always obvious when she was quoting from a document or letter from her changes in inflection, and while she gave a slightly different voice to each person, she didn't overdue the characterization. She really let the history come through by not over-performing.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lincoln's death, especially the effect it had on the powerful and willful men with whom he had surrounded himself. I was surprised at how emotional I became at the author's description - it's not like I didn't know what was going to happen, after all; still, she gave it an emotional resonance I hadn't expected.

    Any additional comments?

    We all know that Lincoln was a great president. This book tells us why he was great, and how his greatness was expressed in his words and actions. The development of grudging respect for him among his former rivals, growing into affection and finally love was a hard-won thing, and the author does a wonderful job of taking us through each man's journey. Lincoln is viewed through as many lenses as there are members of his cabinet, and we get a very well-developed picture of him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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